Sunday, June 29, 2008

Speaking Truth to Hillary Supporters

It's now put-up-or-shut-up time for Hillary Supporters for McCain. Visitors will want to scroll down to see the previous column, which focuses on Betty Jean Kling's powerful letter basically denouning Sen. Clinton for her "Unity' message. It's worth reading.

Tell us, Hillary, which one is it: Country or Party?

We hear a lot about "talking truth" to power. Well, I've been talking truth to (some) Hillary Supporters that want to rationalize Mrs. Clinton's recent "Unity" Speech strongly endorsing Barack Obama. The Hillary Supporters I'm referring are ones who don't want Obama to gain the presidency.
Few of them believe Hillary really wants Obama to win. They believe she wants to run again for the presidency in 2012 or perhaps 2016. A few of them believe (fear?) that Sen. Clinton is angling for the vice-presidential nomination.
The defense of Hillary is that she did it to preserve her political career. Some of the rationalizers say she did it as a way to reduce her huge campaign debt (in excess of $20 million). My response was that for a family with the vast wealth of the Clintons was "pocket change."
A phrase you may hear a lot is that she "did it with a gun to her head." If you "Google" the words "gun to her head," my guess is you will soon find tens of thousands of hits. Actually, the "gun" was, if anything, imaginary -- all in Hilary's head.
Betty Jean Kling, perhaps the staunchest Hillary Backer during the primaries, doesn't agree with any of the rationalizations. She wrote a passionate letter comparing Hillary's "Unity" message with the actions of Rosa Parks, who refused to go to "the back of the bus." I agree completely with Betty Jean's sharp criticism of Sen. Clinton.You can read herexcellent e-mail by scrolling down one column.
Here's what I wrote today on one of the Hillary sites (ClintonDemsAgainstObama on Yahoo): Betty Jean, as a teacher of modern English literature, I used to quote the poet T. S. Eliot who said, "Humankind cannot bear very much reality." I thought I knew what he meant, but now I'm certain I do.
It is NOT a justification to say, "Well, she did it for her career!"
Let me be very blunt, please: When our favorite Senator from Arizona became a co-sponsor of Kennedy-McCain on comprehensive immigration reform, he alienated powerful forces in his Party. He risked his career and almost ruined it. He has done the same thing many times -- and years ago (in the Veitnam War era) he made choices that risked his life and sanity.
That is what a leader does. He (or she) leads. When someone puts a gun to their heads, they resist. They don't fold like a two-dollar tent.
My mother, now long-deceased once told me, "Steve, your standards are much too high." Maybe they are, but I hope not. She was trying to prepare me for life in a world where most people -- but not all --are thoroughly self-serving (but will not admit as much).

No comments: